2021 British Open News

Yesterday WST published this:

Strong Field For British Open In Leicester

Star names including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Stephen Hendry and home favourite Mark Selby will be in the line-up for next month’s British Open at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

The world ranking event will run from August 16th to 22nd and fans will be welcomed through the doors to see the greatest players on the planet.

Players will include:

Mark Selby – Current World Champion and one of Leicester’s sporting greats

Judd Trump – Snooker’s world number one and the outstanding player of recent seasons

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Six time World Champion and crowd favourite

John Higgins – All-time legend who won the British Open when it was last staged in 2004

Shaun Murphy – Flamboyant cueman who reached the World Championship final in May

Stephen Hendry – King of the Crucible – this is the first chance for fans to watch his comeback live

Reanne Evans – All-time greatest female player, now competing on the pro tour

Plus Kyren Wilson, Mark Williams, Jack Lisowski, Leicester favourites Tom Ford, Ben Woollaston, Joe O’Connor and Louis Heathcote…and many more. In all there will be 128 players battling for the trophy and a top prize of £100,000.

The event will have a completely random draw for all rounds, and the first round draw and match schedule will be released on Wednesday July 28th.

Fans will have the chance to see Stephen Hendry play live for the first time since his comeback

The British Open previously ran from 1985 to 2004 and now returns to the WST calendar after a 17-year absence. It will receive extensive live coverage in the UK from ITV, as well as a range of broadcasters worldwide.

All matches up to the last 16 are best of five frames, the quarter and semi-finals are best of seven frames, and the final is best of 11 frames.

Snooker has led the sporting world in the post-lockdown return of live audiences, and WST will continue to work closely with the UK Government and all of our venues and partners on Covid-19 regulation.

But then, in the evening Ronnie posted this on his Instagram


with no further comment.

So what happened? Did Ronnie initially intend to play in the event but changed his mind and why?  Or was there some kind of misunderstanding between him and WST?

Anyway WST has now confirmed that he has withdrawn and is replaced by James Cahill

Ronnie O’Sullivan has withdrawn from the British Open, which takes place from August 16-22 at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

O’Sullivan decided to pull out before the draw was made for the world ranking event. He is replaced in the field by James Cahill.

The draw and format will be announced next week.


Also, I’m pretty surprised to see Stephen Hendry commiting to this: it’s an ultra short format, a random draw in every round, loads of matches every day, meaning loads of players around the venue and likely limited access to practice tables …  all that surely isn’t exactly Stephen’s cup of tea? And, thinking about it,  it’s probably not Ronnie’s cup of tea either going by some of his past comments.

Also there is no mention of Neil Robertson, but there we do have an explanation: indeed, earlier this week David Hendon, in commentary, mentionned that Neil was getting married in the coming weeks….

Congratulations and loads of happiness Neil and Mille!

8 thoughts on “2021 British Open News

  1. Another fixed draw.

    Allen v Evans, Murphy v Selby.
    Obvious WST phoned Osullivan to stage a Hendry clash but he pulled out.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s fixed but some of the recent outcomes have been stochastically improbable to say the least. As for Ronnie running away because he would face Hendry … that’s not improbable, it’s impossible. He would relish the prospect.

  2. To bad Ronnie Osullivan has pulled out of the British Open 2021 would have loved to see him play

  3. James Cahill is at 10 on the QS top-up list, which would imply that 119 of the 122 professionals have entered. That’s a pretty good turnout considering the rotten format, and also that more than half of the Chinese players aren’t even in the UK yet.

    Perhaps Stephen Hendry is attracted to the fact that this tournament may be his only appearence in a main venue this season. All the others require qualifiers, or a secondary playing arena (in the UK Championship).

    • I’m not sure that entries are closed actually, so it may not mean much. There are probably currently only three players that they know for sure will not play: Ronnie obviously is one, Neil Robertson, getting mattied, very likely an other, and probably Mark Allen who is fighting all sorts of personsal issues. They may have already “secured” replacements for them. But there might be more.come the entries closing date.
      As for Hendry, he will be put in the main arena if he plays in York. I have no doubts about it.

  4. Maybe Hendry cherishes the random draw and hopes to play a top player? 🙂

    It is difficult to take this tournament too seriously with its best-o-5 matches: I just hope it wont be won by someone who would count it towards his ranking title tally going for the most of them.

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